tee's Reviews > The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
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's review
Jan 17, 2008

liked it
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I actually liked this book. I only read the reviews afterwards and noticed that a lot of people complain of the stereotyping, and embarrassingly - I was so in love with the characters that it didn't phase me, I'm ashamed. I did notice that the African Americans were all painted as stereotypes but I figured that the author was just using a voice that kept with the times - back then, that's how everything was seen. But now I feel a little conflicted because god damn, I hate stereotypes and I'm usually the first to jump up-and-down and shake my fist.

I loved Lily, I have been struggling to actually like a protagonist in a novel for a long while, so was pleased when I took to Lily immediately. I think that it was a real honest, true voice of a fourteen year old, you could feel the wide-eyed wonder, the naivity and the angst without it being irritating. I loved how she grew and learned; gained courage and wisdom; without the morals of the story beating you over the head. I absolutely loved August and Rosaleen. To be honest, I loved them all. I was even rooting for Zach and Lily to hook up - it made me feel like a teenage reader again, in parts.

I loved the feminist undertones, these women were strong, capable and gutsy. I love the part where August explains why she never married. I loved how the women's spirituality was dealt with an off-beat 'religion' and even though I'm atheist - I still thought that the way that these women had made sense of the world, was empowering and beautiful. It was rather pagan; peaceful yet powerful. I found most of the book to be highly original and kept reading not only because of Kidd's great use of words, but because I really have not ever read anything like this before! I love unique.

I loved the storyline, I loved the beautiful prose. I think too, that I was so fascinated by this book because it is so far removed from my life and what I know of the world. Being Australian, reading about the South (from Kidd's perspective anyway, taking on board the fact that she stereotypes) was a page-turner for me. Some of the passages in the book were really quite stunning. Here's my favourite paragraph.

Every human being on the face of the earth has a steel plate in his head, but if you lie down now and then and get still as you can, it will slide open like evelator doors, letting in all the secret thoughts that have been standing around so patiently, pushing the button for a ride to the top. The real troubles in life happen when those hidden doors stay closed for too long.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Pripra99 beautiful review and probably summed up everything that I thought!

Pastel Actaeon Great review!

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